Application of a micro-Brillouin scattering technique to characterize bone in the GHz range

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The evaluation of elastic properties of bone matrix has been investigated using several techniques such as nanoindentation and scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM). These techniques make use of good spatial resolution, which can prevent effects due to microstructures at the level of several hundreds of microns. In this paper, micro-Brillouin scattering (μ-BR) is introduced as another possible technique to characterize the elastic properties of bone. This technique is well known as a non-contact and non-destructive method to evaluate viscoelastic properties of transparent materials in the GHz range. Using thin, translucent bone specimens with thicknesses of around 100 μm, and the reflection induced optical geometry, ultrasonic wave velocities in the GHz range were obtained. Because this technique optically measures thermal phonons in the specimen, we can easily measure in-plane anisotropy of wave velocities by rotating the specimen. In a single trabecula, the site matched data between SAM and μ-BR showed good correlation, revealing the applicability of this technique to characterize material properties of bone. Some recent results on the anisotropy in a trabecula and the elasticity evaluation of newly and matured bones are also introduced.

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